The dust surrounding the Mexican Grand Prix has not yet settled when it is already time for the second part of the last “triple-header” of the season: the São Paulo Grand Prix. Due to the COVD-19 outbreak, we were unable to drive in Brazil in 2020, but next weekend we will be returning to the infamous Autodromo José Carlos Pace. It’s time to take a closer look at the land of samba!
As usual, we dive first in the country where we will be settling next weekend: Brazil. We are looking at a piece of history, culture, geography and culture. With its 8.5 million km², almost half of South America, the gigantic country is the largest country on the continent. In addition, the country is the largest country in the world after Russia, Canada, the United States and China. The capital is called Brasilia, but the largest city in the country is São Paulo, the scene of this weekend.
Brazil was originally, like the United States, inhabited by Indians. In 1500, the Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral arrived in Brazil, after which the country was declared a Portuguese colony. From 1530, colonization really started and the Portuguese took power in the country, so Portuguese became the official language of the country. The Netherlands also has a history in Brazil, as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands had something to say in the country between 1630 and 1654. Eventually the Portuguese regained power. Independence was finally declared in 1822 and it was officially recognized by Portugal three years later.
The country is now ruled by the head of state Jair Bolsonaro in 2021. At the last census in 2020, the country had a total of 211,715,973 inhabitants, almost all of whom speak Portuguese. Besides Brasilia and São Paulo, Brazil has many big cities like Rio de Janeiro, the former capital Salvador and Fortaleza. In addition, the country is covered by large parts of tropical (tropical) forest. The country has the world’s seventh-largest economy and lives mainly on raw materials, agricultural products and the production of clothing, cars and airplanes, for example. Despite the large economy, there are large income inequalities in the country, which makes the difference between rich and poor huge.
São Paulo, the podium for next weekend
The Formula 1 circus will therefore settle this weekend in the largest city in the country: São Paulo. The city is one of the largest urban agglomerations in the world. The exact numbers are not known, but at the last count in 2010, there were around 22 million people in and around the gigantic city. Several motorsport greats have emerged in São Paulo. Think of names like Ayrton Senna, Felipe Massa, Emerson Fittipaldi, and Helio Castroneves.
The city itself is a source of culture. The Museu de Arte de São Paulo is one of the largest and most important museums in Latin America and houses many works by painters such as Vincent van Gogh and Pablo Picasso. The São Paulo Cathedral is also a special building and well worth a visit. Football is the most popular sport in the city and with famous clubs such as Palmeiras, Corinthians and São Paulo FC, it’s clear. Motorsport is also very popular with the famous circuit in the Interlagos district and the many legendary drivers.
The podium of this weekend: Autodromo José Carlos Pace
The São Paulo circuit is one of the most legendary circuits in motorsport. The Brazilian Grand Prix has been held here since 1973 and many heroic moments have taken place since then. The circuit was named in 1985 in honor of Brazilian Carlos Pace, who won his only Formula 1 victory at this circuit in 1975 and died in a plane crash in 1977.
Normally there are 71 laps on the 4,309 kilometer circuit. Michael Schumacher is the most successful driver of the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, the German has won four times in São Paulo: in 1994, 1995, 2000 and 2002. He is closely followed by his compatriot Sebastian Vettel, whom he won in 2010, 2013 and 2017 The circuit is characterized by the many bumps, which often make it difficult for the backplates of Formula 1 cars. In addition, the circuit with the legendary ‘S’ do Senna in turn 1 hosts the one of the most beautiful turns on the calendar.
Because the Brazilian Grand Prix is traditionally often held reasonably late in the season, many championships have been decided at Interlagos. The first thing that immediately comes to mind is Lewis Hamilton’s first world title in 2008. A legendary race at Interlagos saw home favorite Felipe Massa win on a rainy day, which seemed to bring down the roof for the Brazilian crowd and the party even started. burst briefly in the Ferrari pit box.
However, nothing came of it. For a long time, Hamilton seemed right behind the world title net, just like in 2007. The Briton struggled during the race where he was not allowed to finish lower than fifth. It seemed to happen, but due to a sudden downpour towards the end of the race, it was Timo Glock who barely managed to grab his tires, allowing Hamilton to pass him on the final corner to win his first world title. , much to the chagrin of Brazilian fans.
Max Verstappen has also been introduced to the magic of Interlagos on several occasions. For example, in 2016 the Dutchman drove one of his best races ever in wet conditions, once again showing his talent in the Red Bull. With a brilliant drive he managed to make his way to the P3 in the Red Bull from afar and also showed one of the best examples of car control keeping his car out of the wall when entering the straight. In 2018 he seemed on his way to victory, before Esteban Ocon decided to get rid of a lap delay, knocking Verstappen off the track and he had to settle for second place.
Back to the present
All in all, looking at the illustrious history, there is certainly a lot to look forward to next weekend. The São Paulo race will undoubtedly play a key role in the world title fight between Verstappen and Hamilton. When the Dutchman, currently nineteen points ahead of the Briton, manages to reissue his 2019 masterpiece, he can slowly but surely sniff out the world title. At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be any crazy things planned in terms of weather conditions. At the time of writing, a dry São Paulo is expected on Saturday and Sunday.
So Paulo Grand Prix schedule
Friday 12 November
First free practice: 4:30 p.m.
Qualification: 8:00 p.m.
saturday 13 november
Second free practice: 4 p.m.
Speed race: 8:30 p.m.
Sunday November 14
Race: 6:00 p.m.
“Introvert. Avid gamer. Wannabe beer advocate. Subtly charming zombie junkie. Social media trailblazer. Web scholar.”